Today was my first full day and I have to say it was LONG! My students have a late lunch and related arts the last period of the day. This equals a ridiculously long day for me! I am really going to have to put some management in place because I will have to check folders and stuff them while keeping the students engaged. I will also have to make sure to print and set out everything I need for the entire day each morning--making sure I have easy access to it. Right now I am using my kidney table as home base, but that's definitely not going to work when we start small group activities.
I am pretty tired so here are a few highs, lows, and points of interest for today:
Many of my students are very kind and responsible for their classmates without me teaching it. I have had zero instances of pushing or line cutting and it is very clear that many of my students watch out for each other. I have one student (one I can guarantee I will be writing a lot about) that many of my girls take care of.
We voted on our class "team" name today. It was a close race, but the peanut butter fish, the electric fish, and the fish with big tales could not stand up against the "Rainbow Fish."
Did I mention today was LONG??
On a more serious note...One of the forms we are asked to collect from each child is an application for free and reduced lunch. It is also the form that our school turns in to receive our Title1 funding. I got about 10 forms back today. Of the 10 families returning forms only ONE of my families has a household income of more than $1000 (and all 10 families have one working adult). To put this in perspective... I make about $34,000 as a new teacher. My first paycheck will be more than most of my families will make in a year. This realization was a huge reality check for me. I knew my students would be low income, but I had no idea that it would be this low.
To make me feel even worse almost all of my students brought in school supplies. The first grade general supply list (which I had absolutely no part in making...) costs about $20-30. For a lot of my families this equates to 5% of their income. I actually feel guilty about taking their supplies. One idea I had was to use any of the extra materials to make a take-home summer kit for my students. This would not only relieve my guilt about much of the unused supplies, but also be a small step in eliminating the notorious "summer slide."
Point of interest:
We had a new student join our class today. He happens to have the same first name as another student...and the same last initial. To make this even more fun...I have a really hard time pronouncing my new student's last name!